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Population dynamics of subtidal Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) populations at the Belgian Continental Shelf
Van Hoey, G.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2006). Population dynamics of subtidal Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) populations at the Belgian Continental Shelf, in: Van Hoey, G. Spatio-temporal variability within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, with emphasis on the structuring role of Lanice conchilega = Ruimtelijke en temporele variabiliteit binnen de macrobenthische Abra alba gemeenschap met nadruk op de structurerende rol van Lanice conchilega. pp. 93-116
In: Van Hoey, G. (2006). Spatio-temporal variability within the macrobenthic Abra alba community, with emphasis on the structuring role of Lanice conchilega = Ruimtelijke en temporele variabiliteit binnen de macrobenthische Abra alba gemeenschap met nadruk op de structurerende rol van Lanice conchilega. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Wetenschappen: Gent. 187 pp., more

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Keywords
    Growth; Larvae; Life cycle; Population dynamics; Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [Marine Regions]; Marine

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Abstract
    The paper at hand describes population dynamics, recruitment and persistence of the Lanice conchilega populations in subtidal soft - bottom sediments along the Belgian coastline. An intensive sampling campaign (monthly - biweekly from March 2002 untill September 2003), the discrimination of different benthic stages and cohort analysis of the adult population enabled the discrimination of trends in recruitment patterns of L. conchilega. Three recruitment periods were defined based on the occurrence of peaks of aulophore larvae in the water column and peaks of recently settled individuals in the benthos: (1) spring recruitment period (April - July), (2) summer recruitment period (July - September), and (3) autumn recruitment period (September - November). The spring recruitment period was the most intense and was characterized by high densities of recently settled individuals and juveniles. These high densities resulted in an adult population, which consisted of different cohorts and which was characterized by a high turn over. The summer and autumn recruitments were less intense and did not occur at every station or in every year. Spatial and temporal variations in timing and intensity of settlement and recruitment were observed and described. Results indicate that L. conchilega is an opportunistic species, characterized by a long pelagic phase, high settlement of larvae and a high turn over in the adult population. Due to this recruitment strategy and the preferential settling of the larvae in adult patches, the studied L. conchilega population was able to maintain high abundances in moderately stable patches.

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